1 Kings 17-19 Revised Standard Version

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Elijah Predicts Drought

17 1  Now Eli'jah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word." 2  And the word of the Lord came to him, 3  "Depart from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is east of the Jordan. 4  You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there." 5  So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6  And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7  And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

8  Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9  "Arise, go to Zar'ephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you." 10  So he arose and went to Zar'ephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink." 11  And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand." 12  And she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die." 13  And Eli'jah said to her, "Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. 14  For thus says the Lord the God of Israel, 'The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'" 15  And she went and did as Eli'jah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. 16  The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by Eli'jah.

17  After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; and his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18  And she said to Eli'jah, "What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!" 19  And he said to her, "Give me your son." And he took him from her bosom, and carried him up into the upper chamber, where he lodged, and laid him upon his own bed. 20  And he cried to the Lord, "O Lord my God, hast thou brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?" 21  Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, "O Lord my God, let this child's soul come into him again." 22  And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Eli'jah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23  And Eli'jah took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother; and Eli'jah said, "See, your son lives." 24  And the woman said to Eli'jah, "Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth."

Elijah Returns to Ahab

18 1  After many days the word of the Lord came to Eli'jah, in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth." 2  So Eli'jah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Sama'ria. 3  And Ahab called Obadi'ah, who was over the household. (Now Obadi'ah revered the Lord greatly; 4  and when Jez'ebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadi'ah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5  And Ahab said to Obadi'ah, "Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys; perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals." 6  So they divided the land between them to pass through it; Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadi'ah went in another direction by himself. 7  And as Obadi'ah was on the way, behold, Eli'jah met him; and Obadi'ah recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, "Is it you, my lord Eli'jah?" 8  And he answered him, "It is I. Go, tell your lord, 'Behold, Eli'jah is here.'" 9  And he said, "Wherein have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10  As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom whither my lord has not sent to seek you; and when they would say, 'He is not here,' he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11  And now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Behold, Eli'jah is here."' 12  And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you whither I know not; and so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have revered the Lord from my youth. 13  Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jez'ebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord'S prophets by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14  And now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Behold, Eli'jah is here"'; and he will kill me." 15  And Eli'jah said, "As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today." 16  So Obadi'ah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Eli'jah.

17  When Ahab saw Eli'jah, Ahab said to him, "Is it you, you troubler of Israel?" 18  And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father's house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed the Ba'als. 19  Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Ba'al and the four hundred prophets of Ashe'rah, who eat at Jez'ebel's table."

The Contest on Mount Carmel

20  So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel.

21  And Eli'jah came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Ba'al, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word. 22  Then Eli'jah said to the people, "I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Ba'al's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23  Let two bulls be given to us; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; and I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it. 24  And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, he is God." And all the people answered, "It is well spoken." 25  Then Eli'jah said to the prophets of Ba'al, "Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it." 26  And they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Ba'al from morning until noon, saying, "O Ba'al, answer us!" But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made. 27  And at noon Eli'jah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened." 28  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29  And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice; no one answered, no one heeded. 30  Then Eli'jah said to all the people, "Come near to me"; and all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down; 31  Eli'jah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, "Israel shall be your name"; 32  and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, "Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood." 34  And he said, "Do it a second time"; and they did it a second time. And he said, "Do it a third time"; and they did it a third time. 35  And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water. 36  And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Eli'jah the prophet came near and said, "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37  Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O Lord, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back." 38  Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God." 40  And Eli'jah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Ba'al; let not one of them escape." And they seized them; and Eli'jah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.

Elijah Prays for Rain

41  And Eli'jah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of the rushing of rain." 42  So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Eli'jah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. 43  And he said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." And he went up and looked, and said, "There is nothing." And he said, "Go again seven times." 44  And at the seventh time he said, "Behold, a little cloud like a man's hand is rising out of the sea." And he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.'" 45  And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46  And the hand of the Lord was on Eli'jah; and he girded up his loins and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Elijah Flees to Horeb

19 1  Ahab told Jez'ebel all that Eli'jah had done, and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2  Then Jez'ebel sent a messenger to Eli'jah, saying, "So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow." 3  Then he was afraid, and he arose and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4  But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers." 5  And he lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." 6  And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7  And the angel of the Lord came again a second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you." 8  And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

9  And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, "What are you doing here, Eli'jah?" 10  He said, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 11  And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord." And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13  And when Eli'jah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Eli'jah?" 14  He said, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." 15  And the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Haz'ael to be king over Syria; 16  and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Eli'sha the son of Shaphat of A'bel-meho'lah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17  And him who escapes from the sword of Haz'ael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Eli'sha slay. 18  Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Ba'al, and every mouth that has not kissed him."

The Call of Elisha

19  So he departed from there, and found Eli'sha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Eli'jah passed by him and cast his mantle upon him. 20  And he left the oxen, and ran after Eli'jah, and said, "Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you." And he said to him, "Go back again; for what have I done to you?" 21  And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Eli'jah, and ministered to him.

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